Grow Dots and Recharge for the Real Growers Challenge 2022

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For some reason, I started this on Troll It Up but meant to do so here.

This grow started off with a rocky start. I'm total to blame. After non-stop grows from last fall, when I began doing this, I just took my eye off the ball with these seedlings.

As of today, I am on Day 22 with my Super Skunk and Day 17 with my Mephisto Double Grape, and it is not pretty. But, there have to be some beginner lessons learned here somewhere. So, let's catch up.

This journal follows my inputs for this year's Real Growers Challenge 2022.

Prizes are nice, but I do these Grow Journals/Diaries/Logs to keep my photography itch well scratched.

So, the question is, "can you really just throw some slow release 'dots' into a container and give water ... and an occasional bit of Recharge with a few biostimulants ... and still grow the dank?

Let's start with a confession, I am in my first year as a grower and I have yet to get a plant over 20 inches. I used LST early on so there may have been slightly taller, but they all looked like Bonzai trees. So, if this grow follows suit, let's not blame the nutrient delivery. I'll own it and keep practicing.

Here's the setup for this year.


(1) Super Skunk Auto (Seedstockers)
(2) Double Grape Auto (Mephisto)

Container: Fabric pots in the AutoPot system (bottom watering)

Container Add-Ons:
(1) AirBase (a new product from them that replaces the need for pebbles, etc.)
(2) AirDomes to bring O2 to the Root Zone

(1) Cana Coco (60%),
(2) 20% Perlite
(3) 20% Vermiculite

Water Source:
(1) R/O Water in 12 gallon reservoir (AutoPot standard)

(1) Grow Dots (required) - Mixed evenly throughout the coco mix before planting

Supplements Throughout Grow:
(2) Recharge (required) - Used to moisten coco initially - will supplement once a week
(3) Front Row Si (mono-silicic acid) - mixed directly into RO Reservoir
(4) Mr. Fulvic - mixed directly into RO Reservoir
(5) 5:2 ratio of Fulvic & Seaweed (foliar until flowers develop)
(6) Ca/Mg for the Coco (foliar early - add to valve area later)
(7) MicroGenics 0.75% (foliar early until roots settle in and begin using Grow Dot's Nutrients)
(8) SLF-100 Enzymes - mixed directly into the reservoir

Supplements at Beginning of Grow (solo cup phase):
(1) Prime Superior - Proprietary Friendly Bacteria (during germination and solo cup phase)
(2) Rhizotonic - Rooting Hormones (during germination and solo cup phase)

The timing of these plants is separated by almost a week. I started out with a Black Domina XL Auto from Oaseeds, but it dampened off, and I then replaced it with the Super Skunk Auto from Seedstockers.

Then, a day or so later, I decided to add in a Mephisto Double Grape. As of 07/14/22, I put a DG into a solo cup with a 1/2" long taproot.

For convenience, I will split the difference and come up with a germination day that averages them all together.

Today I am calling Day 11 for both strains (11 is real for SS and Day 6 for Double Grape). In time, the 5-day gap will be a non-sequitur.

I'll catch up below with my pictures taken so far. And after that, I'll post like a normal Journal.


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Day 11 Notes:

I'm impressed with the Rhizotonic. The roots on the Super Skunk took off after using it. They raced right to the bottom of the cup.

When I water them now, I use a 5 ml syringe of the growth hormone and then add it to the bottom of double-layered cups. I'm trying to not water from the top to help dry the coco some.

I still have them in a high temperature / high humidity environment in my seedling tent. Meaning the soil, although not dripping wet, needs to dry more.

The Double Grape is not showing signs of roots yet.

I'll start tracking data once they are in the 4 x 4 tent.


Day 20 (07/26/22) - And I've got problems

Let's start with the obvious problem.


As you can see, there are some pretty ugly brown tips going on with my Double Grape. My guess, the discoloring is from too much light. Even though I was being careful with checking PPFD, etc. When I went to check my equipment at the back of the tent, I realized my light-timer was set to 24/0. Not 18/6 as I thought.

This picture was taken today, 15 days after the germination. I've made corrections, and I hope this stunting lightens up since it is so early.

I'm keeping them both at a low 14 DLI for a few days to allow for some growth. I'll run them at 20/4 once they look healthier. Since it could go either way, I repotted to the final pot and will just give them time to relax. I soaked the area around the hole with Rhizatonic and Recharge to ease transfer stress.

My intended light schedule for this grow now that things are back on track:


Recommended LED PPF/PAR Values / DLI Based on 20 hrs. of light.

Seedlings 150 - 200 umol / DLI 10.80 - 14.4 moles per day
Veg up to 9" 450 umol / DLI 32.40 moles per day
Early bloom 500 umol / DLI 36.00 moles per day
Mid bloom 650 umol / DLI 46.80 moles per day
Late bloom 750 umol / DLI 54.00 moles per day

I missed this memo below: :wall:
*** Use extreme caution going 700 umol or higher @ 20 hrs/day this could cause leaf burn***

This can also explain the stunting in the Super Skunk seedling as well (Below):


It's Day 20 for the Super Skunk. No happy cannabis plant is this small at 20 days. I started having issues with this one when I noticed it was turning light (lime) green. I've since treated with some very light nutrients, Rhizatonic and Recharge. They have each received a light foliar of mono-silicic acid.

There is some good news. They are both in their new homes.

Since this is a Grow Dot and Recharge based grow. I started letting the reservoir's water mix begin entering from the bottom. There's no electrical charge to speak of in the mix (0.079 EC). The tank on has RO water, Mono-Silicic Acid, Mr. Fulvic and SLF-100 (enzymes).

I'll add Recharge manually once a week or so in the coco.


This is my first time using the AirBase/AirDome setup. They say to wait a couple of weeks before pumping air up into the root zone. Considering my rocky start I'll follow those instructions.


The rest are just some other pot porn pics for your enjoyment. Some are redundant, but still the plant we all love.




Day 22 - Photos & Notes: This catches the diary up to date:

• Added Mosquito Bits as a "Cover" to Fend Off Future Fungus Gnats.

• Re-Calibrated my Apera pH pen and set the Reservoir to 5.8 pH.

• Used a 20 ml Syringe and gave each plant some very light nutrients and other bio-stimulants to encourage growth into the Grow Dot zone.









Day 23 & 18 - Photos & Notes:

Double Grape is starting to add to biomass. That's comforting.

Super Skunk has the funniest Pheno with the split leaf.

Photographer Note: No more Foliar with Recharge or Kelp & Seaweed. Those really made the leaves look horrible.

I did put 8 oz of light nutrients and bio-stimulants around the outer perimeter and about 4 oz circle within 3 inches of the base of the stem. Hopefully, this can be the last outside nutrients before the roots find the Grow Dot laced coco.

After that, I intend to do a Sunday top drench of Recharge (once a week). Most likely, I will make a cocktail of Recharge, Kelp & Seaweed with some Humboldt Enzymes. The coco is already bottom feeding SLF-100 enzymes.

I'm also toying with the idea of shutting off the water valves from the reservoir and having the AutoPot valve chambers begin to lower, add in a Recharge mix from the bottom. Once that fluid volume drops then turn back on the water valve to the reservoir. I'll certainly try it once.

The pictures tonight are not that great, but I did want to document the sizes. I won't continue size monitor after they are out of the seedling stage. Height might be more important during full-on veg.

 MG 8212 Nik Nik Day 23 Week 4 No Label

 MG 8218 Nik Nik Day 23 Week 4 No Label

 MG 8217 Nik Nik Day 23 Week 4 No Label


Day 26 & Day 21:

Nice growth. It looks like any problems from the start are continuing to fade into the distance.

Plants are shut off from the reservoir, while I load up Recharge and some enzymes from the AutoPot valve chamber.

Note how the Double Grape's initial light damaged leaves are not really noticeable anymore.

Plus, Super Skunk is now growing in normal leaves.

Pairs LOGOS 8339 Day 26 Week 4

DG Top View 8336 Day 21 Week 4

SS Top Angle 8319 Day 26 Week 4

DG Top Angle 8331 Day 21 Week 4

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After posting my Data Logs above, it started to bother me that (according to a chart on the internet) that I was not providing ideal conditions. So, let's take a closer look at this.

First, here are my logs for the last 3 days (same as above just more decorations). I've been tracking all along, but the Solo Cup phase etc, there is just no real consistency. Now that the roots in search of the Grow Dot Magic, I think we can start to track the data. Plus, it helps keep me engaged and not letting anything become a runaway train.


As you can see, my environment is consistent ... 75/76 for temps (leaf) and about 52% for RH. From just about any chart, young veg plants would be okay in this zone. Sure, we can argue they are still seedlings. Even so, my tent environment creates a confortable growing environment.

First off all this next graphic is my "grading" system. Meaning the terms are mine that I appy to the Pulse Calculator and Chart of Results:


This grading system will make more sense when you see what Pulse presents.

So, the first thing you do is enter your data on the front page o the Pulse Calculator:


Once you enter the day you click on the tab at the bottom of the page that says "Chart Maker."


Below I will paste the results that I got based on the numbers I added in. You see there are THREE (3) data point you need to add in:

Blue Oval: Growth Stage (Clone, Veg or Flower)
Red Oval: Your Temp scale
Green Oval: Difference in Tent Temp vs Leaf Temp

I leave mine the same room temp, especially at the stage because the LEDs are not that hot and they are considerably higher than the leaves.


So now, let's dial in to my results.


If you were to go by this chart, with the data you input yourself, I would need to be 75ºF and 67% RH. Does this sound reasonable?



Your post brings a few topics to mind.

Other than data collection, this is the simplest grow I've done with only slow-release (salt) nutrients in the coco. It does feel weird not making up my Jack's 3-2-1. Sure, there was some hustle in the beginning as I tried to coax the newly transplanted roots over into the Grow Dot portion of the pot. This time, I learned my lesson with "soaked" roots in the Solo Cup, so I made a circle of the transition nutes (and Recharge) about 3 inches from the stem and then another circle towards the outer edge of the pot. After that, I made one more circle. The last time was only towards the outer edge of the fabric pot. Now, the plants are thriving (I hope).

Now that the transplanting excitement is over, I make up for my missed nutrient-making chaos by developing foliar sprays, etc. 😎

Actually, that's simple too. If you read back in this thread, part of my "thrill" of growing is taking pictures, so nothing "dark" goes into the spray bottles anymore. Recharge may be magical in the soil, but it wreaks havoc on the beauty of the leaves (for glamor-shot purposes).

So, my foliar is 69% (base % before dilution) fulvic acid, mono-silicic acid (10%), elemental calcium (100 ppms worth), and a bit of Peptide SP for aminos and nitrogen supplementation. Gotta love the bio-stimulants.

In fact, the Grow Dots are so simple that I feel a little bit like the Maytag Man. 😁

On another topic, I know we are not growing the same thing, but the first 30 days of seedlings as they move into veg have a similar look (in general) and I can tell I really put the stunted-hurt on mine this time.

Next grow I'm using a germination/ propagation kit. I need to scale it back to a very small piece of real estate. One that I can control RH, Temp, and lighting on a very small scale. Something like this photo:


Thanks for stopping by. My wife (and I) love the Gnomes.


Day 27 -- Stats

VPD is better. Mainly, because I added a Swamp Cooler. They may not really cool all that well, but they do add extra humidity to help with my purpose-built humidifier.

Note: I realize I used the wrong day number for the photos above.




Day 28 - Stats & Notes

Last day of Week 4


• Raised the DLI to 32

• New Macro Lens Arrives today, pictures to follow.
- This new lens is meant for trichome photography, but I'll give it whirl on the young plants as well.

• Started logging reservoir temp.
- Turned of Rez Agitator to see if its motor adds to increased temps.


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Photo editing aside. It looks like the nitrogen is getting to high. I had this happen with my Recharge and Gaia Green auto grow this week. They started getting the real dark green veins and very dark green almost black look to the leaves. It was time to add more Gaia Green. I cut way back on the 4-4-4 and added more of the 2-8-4 bloom and watered that in with a 1/2 gallon of ph water per plant getting a slight flush out of it. There not as dark today. Wish I had taken a before and after pic. I also took them off 24 hour lighting and put them a 20/4. Good Luck!


Photo editing aside. It looks like the nitrogen is getting to high. I had this happen with my Recharge and Gaia Green auto grow this week. They started getting the real dark green veins and very dark green almost black look to the leaves. It was time to add more Gaia Green. I cut way back on the 4-4-4 and added more of the 2-8-4 bloom and watered that in with a 1/2 gallon of ph water per plant getting a slight flush out of it. There not as dark today. Wish I had taken a before and after pic. I also took them off 24 hour lighting and put them a 20/4. Good Luck!
I think that is the photo editing ... going for contrast for the computer screen. When my lights come back on I'll just do plain shots with an iPhone to see. They do look harsh here, but I think that could be pushing the RAW data in my DxO processing program.

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